My research interests lie in the intersection between history of science & medicine and science & technology studies.
My PhD project, Biomedicalization of Transgender: Sex and Gender in Postwar Medicine, aims to analyze the medical terms which have been used to characterize, define, distinguish and pathologize biological, psychological and social sex and the extent to which these terms still have effect in the present. By so doing, we hope to shed light on the historical struggles and exercises of power within the field of transgender, in the medical discourse, in the public debate and among activists, that shaped the character of contemporary conceptions and practices.
The three overarching research objectives are to: (1) analyse how the concepts of "transvestitism" and "transsexualism" came into being, how the concepts were defined in different periods and how doctors diagnosed and treated patients who wanted gender-affirming therapy through the second half of the 20th century in practice; (2) explore the coming into being of the popular conception of "transsexuality" in the media and among activists and politicians; (3) explore the meetings of trans and non-binary people's meetings with the healthcare services and the perspectives of their caregivers.
The study will draw on a range of material from archival material, published sources (including books, newspaper articles, and medical journal articles), analysis of medical records and oral history interviews with trans and non-binary people, activists and health professionals.
MED3064 – Newer Medical History: Gender, Substance Use and Social Medicine
Ketil Slagstad graduated from medical school in 2011. He worked as a medical doctor before he became an editor of the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association. He started as a PhD student in the history of medicine at the University of Oslo in 2019.